Checking the quality of a refurbished device before buying one can be challenging when you’re shopping online and only have a few reference photos. Regardless of these limitations, there are still several things you can do to help you finalize or cancel your purchase. In this article, we explore some key considerations when shopping in the refurb market and offer insight into the seller and device quality and reliability.
Confirm Trustworthiness With the Seller
Many retailers are available who will claim they have quality devices at the most affordable prices. The thing with refurbished retailers is that not every seller has the in-house support and systems to support a device’s repair needs. Some are selling out of their basements, and unfortunately, some are scamming buyers.
Use your best judgment when fishing through the site’s reviews, and use a fine-tooth comb when determining heads or tails. It’s common for most sites to use a five-star review system, one being the worst and five being excellent. Read through all the reviews, positive and negative, and check for common themes, questions, and complaints.
You also want to be mindful of the seller copy and pasting the positive reviews to lean in favor of their services. Repetitive positive reviews can indicate a scam. Don’t let obtainable price points cloud your judgment on what is or isn’t worth buying.
Ask for Condition Photos
A reputable and responsive retailer may use stock images for their product listings but can also provide exact photos for the device you’re interested in. Contact the seller and request condition photos to have a sense of understanding of the device’s cosmetic shape.
It’s essential to understand cosmetics are only a small part of a device’s conditions, and the internal components matter most. Receiving these condition photos can demonstrate that they are selling you a tangible device that may work. If a seller is unwilling to offer you the requested photos, this may help deter you from completing the purchase.
What Is the Seller’s Idea of Refurbished?
Everyone’s idea of refurbishment may mean something different. The other thing to be mindful of is the host site’s definitions and policies regarding sales and sale status. Some host sites do not require authentication or proof an item is fully refurb. The seller can falsely claim it is, but you may purchase it without any completed repairs or working components.
Browse the selling site’s page to see if they clearly identify what their idea of refurbishment means, and if it’s not made apparent, send an email and ask them about their device processes and requirements. Use their response as your baseline for whether you’re willing to continue investing or need to look elsewhere and inquire about any ongoing support. Without any support, you will be left to troubleshoot your device’s issues on your own.
Are There Any Buyer’s Protections?
One of the best ways to check the quality of a refurbished device before buying it is to understand if your purchase comes with any buyer’s protection. Warranties talk a big game with refurb devices because, without this line of protection, you are at risk of encountering a scam purchase. A reputable, trustworthy seller will back all their devices and purchases with a warranty, but it’s up to them to define the terms.
Buying direct from a manufacturer will often include a warranty, but buying small from an online seller is where the warranty conditions become subjective. A good rule of thumb is the better the warranty offers, the more quality and reputable the seller and their devices are.
Is There a Return Policy?
In addition to a supportive warranty program, the return policy offered will play a significant role in device quality and seller trustworthiness. But that’s not all; having a return policy is not enough. The type of returns allowed and conditions for a return matter because this is the difference between investing your money and wasting your money.
At a minimum, you want a safe 30-day return policy that guarantees your money back should you be dissatisfied with the purchase. The warranty will protect you long-term, but the return policy will guarantee the seller spent time making the device usable. Like buyers, sellers don’t want to be out money, so when they offer a full money-back guarantee upon dissatisfaction, you can trust they support their products.
It’s essential to note that upon receiving the device, you should do your due diligence to thoroughly inspect its condition and begin working with it to gauge your satisfaction. The return policy begins the second the purchase goes through, and you want to respect the time allotted to work with the product. Waiting until after the given 30 days to decide you don’t enjoy the device can put you and the seller in a bind.
Ask Who Completed the Refurb Project
While in communication with the seller, ask them who completes their refurb projects. If they outsource the devices and only resell, their ability to understand or trust the device’s conditions will vary. Even if they trust the outsourced refurb team, there will still be a breakdown in communication on device details.
Buying your refurbished devices from a seller who also completes the refurb in-house is best. This factor can guarantee the relationship between the seller and the device is lengthy and that the seller understands the device’s qualms and previous state.
Using the seller’s published reviews can also bring condition checks full circle. If there is a theme of poor work, this issue might indicate the seller does not complete the refurb and instead outsources the device’s work.
Post-Purchase Component Tests
Once your refurbished device is in your hands, the clock is ticking on the return policy. Doing a series of post-purchase component tests can help gauge your overall satisfaction and see if the device is up to your standards. A few common testing areas include:
- External ports
- Screen pixelation and clarity
- Facial recognition reliability (if applicable)
- Touchpad accuracy or touchscreen (if applicable)
- Sound quality and audio ports
Wisetek Market is a reputable and reliable outlet to buy refurbished computers and other in-demand devices from Apple, Dell, HP, and more. We offer a flexible return policy with the industry’s most supportive warranty program. Shop our collection of like-new devices today for all your tech needs.